So beautiful! Here's my story...I used to grade standardized test essays and there was this excerpt from Dandelion Wine that the kids had to write aboSo beautiful! Here's my story...I used to grade standardized test essays and there was this excerpt from Dandelion Wine that the kids had to write about. Colonel Freeleigh, an elderly character from this book, became quite popular among my essay-grading compadres, so much so that we've been name dropping him for about 10 years now (even after the damn place closed down.) My friend and fellow coworker Jean gave me this book as a wedding shower gift a few years back, and I finally got around to reading it, expecting a decent literary experience.
What I got from this book was so much more! I now have a whole new appreciation for the Colonel, and for Douglas and Tom, who were mere side characters in the excerpt I read so long ago (much to my surprise, young Douglas is the main protagonist, though many of his neighbors, both young and old, are featured in the interwoven stories.) Emotions run high throughout the whole novel - I was between laughter and tears during the entire read. One story was so suspenseful and scary, I was unable to put down the book until I reached the conclusion.
The themes presented here - the illusion of permanence, the inevitability of our own mortality - are done quite artfully, and by no less than a literary genius. I never gave Bradbury much credit, having only been forced to read Fahrenheit 451 in high school, but now I am interested in exploring more of his work.
I almost forgot I read this. Donna lent it to me YEARS ago! Maybe I was just out of college? I remember it being very, very odd, but liking it ok. DefI almost forgot I read this. Donna lent it to me YEARS ago! Maybe I was just out of college? I remember it being very, very odd, but liking it ok. Definitely one of those books that tried to force you to think....more
When I first started reading this (after a rather obsessed friend thrust it at me) I was thinking, "Hells, no!" It really was not my kind of book, whiWhen I first started reading this (after a rather obsessed friend thrust it at me) I was thinking, "Hells, no!" It really was not my kind of book, which was obvious from page one. I think it was mainly the oh-so-clever, overly witty voice of the protagonist that didn't convince me. (Who the heck talks like that, thinks like that, or uses big words like Claire Randall? The book is in first person, so I was really having a hard time coming to terms with her bizarre narration style.)
HOWEVER, I plugged on, and soon found that I didn't care how Claire wanted to tell her story (or how Gabaldon wanted Claire to tell her story.) I just wanted to hear her story. I was completely engrossed from the moment she stepped into 18th century Scotland.
And then I met Jamie. Ooh, la la! I should mention that this book borders on a romance novel, a genre I swore never to dabble in (I was an English major with a good amount of pride, mind you.) But Jamie, you are quite a man, and I didn't mind getting to know you, um, better.
By the end of this story, I was pretty torn between wanting it over with (both because I read really slowly and have been working on it for months AND because it is overly disturbing at times) and never wanting it to end. I really fell in love with the characters (including the aforementioned Claire - I wish I could be so brave faced with such turmoil and know all the right big words to say!) and I was reluctant to let them go.
I will probably break down after I tackle a few other books on my list and read more in the series. I can't deny my need to know what happens to Claire and Jamie!
P.S. Don't do what I did! At the end of my 99 cent edition was a sneak preview of what I thought was the next in the series. But I later discovered that I read 3 chapters of Outlander #6! I thought it was weird that it skipped ahead 30 years, but whatever. The worst part is that there were quite a few spoilers in that first 3 chapters that I shouldn't know about yet. I'm super pissed about this!...more
Ugh. I had decent hopes for this when I started, but after just a few chapters, it was all downhill. Most of the characters were just so blah and unliUgh. I had decent hopes for this when I started, but after just a few chapters, it was all downhill. Most of the characters were just so blah and unlikeable, and the same whiny sentiments were repeated over and over and over until I wanted to bash my head in with the book itself (but, being a paperback copy, it wouldn't have inflicted the necessary damage, so I just took out my bookmark and closed it instead.) I really don't understand the endorsements this got from admirable authors, critics and friends alike. Oh well!...more